Shannon Stirone

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NASA Is Returning to the Moon This Week. Why Do We Feel Conflicted?

NASA  plans this week to return to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972. The effort is part of a series of spaceflights under the agency’s  Artemis program. After multiple delays, the first Artemis launch — a test flight without crew members — is slated for early Wednesday. (No doubt NASA’s fingers are crossed.)

Eventually, the program will launch a crew of astronauts, including the first woman and the first person of color to land on the moon, with the  goal to establish a long-term lunar presence.

Space journalist Shannon Stirone hosted a written online conversation with Leroy Chiao, a retired NASA astronaut, Lori Garver, former deputy administrator of NASA, and David Grinspoon, an astrobiologist, about the big questions surrounding the Artemis launch, including whether the financial costs are worth it and what’s gained, or not, by sending humans to space.…  Seguir leyendo »

El borde de una región cercana de formación estelar joven en la Nebulosa de Carina. NASA, ESA, CSA y STScI

“Somos polvo de estrellas”. Cuando el astrónomo Carl Sagan pronunciaba esa famosa frase, le recordaba a la gente que gran parte de la materia de nuestros cuerpos se creó dentro de las estrellas hace mucho. Quería que la gente supiera que somos maravillosos y nuestra historia también lo es.

La historia de la humanidad dio un giro nuevo e interesante cuando viajamos al pasado 13.000 millones de años. Después de más de dos décadas de diseño y planificación, el lunes, la NASA publicó la primera imagen del telescopio espacial James Webb, que reveló la imagen infrarroja más profunda del universo que jamás se haya visto.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ryan Gosling in a scene from "First Man." Credit Daniel Mcfadden/Universal Pictures

Hollywood’s latest space film, “First Man,” stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in an intense battle between earthly priorities and the sublime possibilities of the Apollo mission, much like his nation. Naturally, its most glorious scene is the moon landing: the moment he takes that final, hesitant leap and we see his white boot press into the fine lunar soil before we gently pan over Earth, suspended in the vast blackness of space.

As majestic cinematography brings the feat back to life, frame by frame, a sense of nostalgia is almost unavoidable, even for viewers who weren’t on Earth when it happened.…  Seguir leyendo »